Kiwis cruise easy through rough recessionary waters

Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2009 |
From Stuff.co.nz (http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/2270000/Kiwis-cruise-as-economy-burns)

As global recession bore down on world economies last year, a growing number of New Zealanders decided the time was right to take a cruise.

Figures released today by International Cruise Council Australasia showed nearly 39,000 New Zealanders had a cruising holiday last year, a 29 percent rise from 2007.

Two-thirds of those passengers toured around the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific area, with numbers up 31 percent from 2007 to about 25,600.

Numbers on river and ocean cruises in Europe increased 39 percent to nearly 6450, with European river cruising numbers alone almost doubling to more than 1650.

Alaska was the third most popular cruising destination for New Zealanders, attracting 2050 passengers, an increase of 27 percent on 2007 figures.

Estimated annual sea days rose 35 percent to more than 420,000.

Growth in New Zealand passengers compared with 5 percent growth reported by the United States market in 2008, an estimated 12 percent growth for the British cruise market, and a 26 percent increase recorded by the Australian industry.

Cruise council general manager Brett Jardine said the awareness of cruising was growing, as capacity in the market and itinerary options increased.

More and more holidaymakers were attracted to cruising because it included transport, accommodation, meals and entertainment in one fare, he said.

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